For every positive tweet saying, “Yay! Brad’s going to be there, too,” Paisley says there will be others tweeting, “This is BS that I have to sit through this hick” and “This hillbilly is going to play? What are they thinking? I guess I’ll go late.”
“I’m guaranteeing you, that’s on there if you look,” Paisley said. “So my challenge is to win that person. You know, make them think, “Hey, it wasn’t that bad,” before it’s over.
Paisley, who sat in with the Rolling Stones during the band’s 2013 concert in Philadelphia, had no hesitation in accepting their invitation to open the Nashville show.
“It’s really cool,” he said. “I think the world of that band. I think they’re really, in many ways, the absolute top rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. In my count, they’re in the Top 5 country bands for that matter, too. What limited things you would call country that they did are still examples beyond compare — like ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and ‘Sweet Virginia’ and ‘Dead Flowers’ and these songs that, truthfully, are country.”
Referring to lead vocalist Mick Jagger as “iconic as it gets in rock ‘n’ roll,” Paisley acknowledges he is a huge fan.
“There’s never been a better front man of any band, and there never will be,” he said. “Everyone is trying to be him. You just don’t. … No matter how comfortable you get, you don’t forget there’s this thing in the back of your mind like, ‘Holy cow, that’s Mick Jagger!’”
For more, tune into an all-new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (May 30-31) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.